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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

if he were talking to a survivor from an incomprehen-
sible disaster. Looking round me I began to feel that
I wanted to be in some place where I needn't be re-
minded of the War all the time. For instance, there
was that tall well-preserved man pushing his son very
slowly across the lawn in a long wheeled bed. The
son was sallow and sulky, as he well might be, having
lost one of his legs. The father was all solicitude, but
somehow I inferred that the pair of them hadn't hit it
off too well before the War. More than once I had
seen the son look at his father as though he disliked
him. But the father was proud of his disabled son,
and I heard him telling one of the nurses how splen-
didly the boy had done in the Gommecourt attack,
showing her a letter, too, probably from the boy's
colonel. I wondered whether he had ever allowed
himself to find out that the Gommecourt show had
been nothing but a massacre of good troops. Probably
he kept a war map with little flags on it; when
Mametz Wood was reported as captured he moved a
little flag an inch forward after breakfast. For him
the Wood was a small green patch on a piece of paper.
For the Welsh Division it had been a bloody night-
mare___"Is the sun too strong for you here, Arthur?*5

Arthur shakes his head and frowns up at the sky.
Then the father, with his neatly-trimmed beard and
elegant buff linen waistcoat, begins to read him
Haig's latest despatch. "There is strong evidence
that the enemy forces engaged on the battlefront
have been severely shaken by the repeated successes
gained by ourselves and our Allies. . . ." The level
cultivated voice palavers on until the nurse approaches
brightly with a spouted feeding-cup. "Time for some
more beef-tea!" Nourishment is administered under
approving parental eyes.

ft                                   453